BBC One's new show Let It Shine narrowly beat ITV's The Voice UK on Saturday night, attracting an average of 6.3 million viewers.
The Voice UK drew an average of 5.9 million. The shows overlapped by half an hour, with Let It Shine starting an hour earlier at 19:00 GMT.
The Voice UK moved from the BBC to ITV after the last series. Both shows peaked with 6.9 million viewers.
Let It Shine aims to find cast members for a new Take That musical.
The Voice UK saw the return of Sir Tom Jones, who was dropped by the BBC from its version of the show in 2015.
He was joined by fellow coaches will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson and Gavin Rossdale as they listened to contestants hoping to win a record contract.
The Let It Shine judges, alongside Barlow, are Dannii Minogue and Martin Kemp.